People who have embraced the digital music revolution but don’t want to sit around and listen to their favourite tracks on iPods, Tablets and smartphones when the groove strikes… Sonos is on its way to help!
Sonos is one of the most innovative, eye-catching and unique companies on the market that manufactures terrific streaming-audio systems to enjoy any kind of digital music.
They’ve released several popular devices such as the Sonos Play 1, Play 3 and Play 5. The most successful one is the Play 5, which prides itself as the company’s most powerful single speaker.
The Play 3 is the older brother of the Play 1, and the younger brother of the Play 5. While the Play 3 is different from both, it offers exceptional features and quality.
Sonos Play 3 vs Play 5: Pros & Cons and Verdict
Table of Contets
- 1 Sonos Play 3 vs Play 5: Pros & Cons and Verdict
- 1.1 1. Setup Process
- 1.2 2. Design
- 1.3 3. Features
- 1.4 4. Sound Quality
- 1.5 5. Mobile Application
- 1.6 6. Advantages and Disadvantages
- 1.7 7. Support
- 1.8 8. Comparison Chart: SONOS PLAY:3 vs PLAY:5
- 1.9 The Bottom Line
In this Sonos Play 5 vs Play 3 article, we’ll compare, evaluate and rate the most important aspects of both Sonos speakers. We’ll also present detailed charts, and lastly, we’ll come up with a reasonable verdict and crown one as the leading product.
1. Setup Process
The first topic we have to address is the setup processes of Play 3 and Play 5. It’s essential for them to have simple and straightforward installation processes since no one likes spending hours reading manuals and watching guides on YouTube.
Sonos PLAY:3 and PLAY:5
The real reason why Sonos is so popular is its ease-of-use. If you think that the setup processes of PLAY:3 and PLAY:5 can cause a lot of trouble, I’ll save you from the torture.
What you need to know first is that we control every SONOS speaker via the mobile app that is available for iOS and Android devices. As soon as you’ve downloaded it, the app will guide you through the whole installation process.
If you’d like to know how to complete the process or what the visual guide looks like, make sure to watch this:
If the video doesn’t provide enough insight, here is my step-by-step guide (below) as well. Alternatively, there’s also a well-written user manual included in the Sonos player package that perfectly explains the whole thing.
- First, connect the speaker to the power source
- Then turn it on
- Connect it to Wi-Fi using the mobile application
- Do the wavy-wavy-hand-dancey
- Done. You can start playing music.
That’s all that is required to activate your Sonos speaker. It’s ridiculously easy, and there’s no chance of messing up. If you encounter any problems during the setup, simply reach out to Sonos’ customer service. Those people are superb and will help with any issues you might be facing.
It’s essential for modern products like Sonos speakers to have an eye-catching, attractive and eye-pleasing design. When purchasing any item that will be placed indoors, people want to be sure that it will blend with/improve the overall aesthetic of their home interior.
Luckily, Sonos Play 3 and Play 5 are well-built, and they flawlessly sync with your interior design. We have a few Sonos speakers placed at ‘Leads Rating’ smart home, and I must say, they blend perfectly with their surroundings.
In terms of dimensions, the PLAY:3 is larger than the PLAY:1, and is smaller than the PLAY:5. To put it differently, the PLAY:3 is a mid-sized speaker that weighs 5.7 pounds. This model is available in either white or black; it has three buttons on top to change the volume or mute the speaker.
In case you’ve never seen a Sonos PLAY:3 before, we’ve included a fantastic picture that’ll showcase its looks. You can see how well the speaker blends with the interior design. Plus, it’s so well-sized that it’ll easily fit anywhere, including a bookshelf, or side or night table.
The dimensions of the Sonos PLAY:3 are 5.2 x 10.5 x 6.3 inches. What I love about the speaker is that you can place it either vertically or horizontally. The speaker has sensors that detect the position of the PLAY:3. So if you put the speaker vertically, it’ll switch to mono mode (horizontal position will activate the stereo mode).
If you want to get yourself a Sonos PLAY:5, get ready to make some space. Unlike the PLAY:1 and PLAY:3, this model isn’t a bedside speaker.
While Sonos PLAY:5 has a dark front speaker grille, this is housed in a casing which comes in a choice of two colours – white or black.
Don’t let the size of the speaker scare you. The SONOS PLAY:5 will comfortably fit the majority of houses. If you’re interested how the PLAY:5 looks, take a look at the picture we’ve included.
The dimensions of the Sonos PLAY:5 are 8.03 x 14.33 x 6.06 inches, and it weighs 14 pounds. The casing of the speaker is high-class, and it only takes a single touch to understand the quality of PLAY:5.
If you’re short on space and can’t fit the speaker anywhere, you can just place the PLAY:5 on its side. Like the PLAY:3, it detects the current position and seamlessly switches from mono to stereo mode or vice-versa.
The PLAY:5 has a few buttons on top, but it’s a bit different from its family members. The PLAY:5 has a play/pause button and a touch panel to change tracks and adjust the volume.
What we need to write about next is the features of PLAY:3 and PLAY:5. One of the main reasons why people purchase these speakers is due to their features and capabilities. Hence we’ve created a detailed chart where we’ve included all main features of Sonos PLAY:3 and PLAY:5.
While the features of Sonos PLAY:3 and PLAY:5 are identical, the main difference between these two speakers is the performance capabilities.
4. Sound Quality
We can consider this part of our Sonos PLAY:5 vs PLAY:3 article as the most crucial one. The main reason why people purchase such devices is due to their sound quality. If these Sonos speakers can’t meet the minimum requirements of a buyer, there’s no need for us to invest in such products.
Even with all the important stuff we’ve discussed so far, Sonos PLAY:3 would still be useless if the sound quality turned out to be trash. With a speaker so small, it’s quite surprising that the PLAY:3 can get so loud that it can be heard throughout a 550 square-foot apartment.
While the sound was clean on low and average volume, it becomes a bit muddy when you go all out. The lack of subwoofer contributes a large part to this issue, but you can’t expect more from a single mid-sized speaker.
If you’re ready to invest in the PLAY:3 speaker, the sound issue can be managed by purchasing several PLAY:3 devices. For example, if you can get two speakers, each can take one side of the stereo channel.
So, since a single PLAY:3 can’t match the sound qualities of the PLAY:5, one option is purchasing extra of the PLAY:3 to match the capabilities of a full hi-fi.
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Having said that, while pairing two speakers might help the bass issues, it’s unlikely for anyone to place two SONOS PLAY:3 speakers in the same room.
Still, the Sonos speaker is way better than the iPhone docks from the same price range. The sound quality of PLAY:3 is way cleaner, and it’s harder to identify where the sound is coming from.
People actively debate if Bluetooth or Wi-Fi is better for wireless audio. From what we’ve experienced and considering what Sonos offers, we can say that our Wi-Fi network instantly became friends with the PLAY:3.
The TruePlay is another feature Sonos promises to be unique and game-changing. While its actual worth can be experienced with several Sonos speakers, we tried calibrating the PLAY:3 in different rooms including a living room, kitchen and a bathroom.
Unfortunately, we didn’t notice any differences that would’ve been worth mentioning.
The PLAY:5 is one of Sonos’ most awesome creations. While every Sonos speaker is built to impress, the PLAY:5 takes everything to another level. Compared to other speakers from the same price range, the PLAY:5 easily takes the top spot.
Inside the PLAY:5 speakers are six custom-designed drivers, three tweeters and three mid-woofers. The sound coming from the Sonos is clean, and it doesn’t deteriorate while increasing the volume.
The bass of the PLAY:5 can be enhanced using the TruePlay from the mobile application. If you’re willing to invest more in Sonos speakers, try pairing it with Sonos SUB, PLAY:1 or PLAY:3.
What we loved about the PLAY:5 is that the sound doesn’t get distorted when pumped up. The sound is thunderous, and it’s ideal for parties. To unleash the full potential of the PLAY:5, it’s advisable to purchase a pair to unlock the ‘orientate’ feature.
Like the PLAY:3, the PLAY:5 can sit vertically or horizontally. The best part is that the speaker automatically detects the position and activates the correct mode.
When we tested the PLAY:5 on max volume (which is 94 dbs), it started getting distorted at 90 dbs. That’s a terrific result compared to what other speakers have to offer.
Since all Sonos speakers use Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth, you’ll rarely find a person who’s experienced a connectivity issue. Besides, Wi-Fi allows you to stream higher-quality files, making the sound better.
Frankly, just a single listen is enough to understand the quality Sonos offers. It’s superior to any other speaker from the same price range, and I must say Sonos PLAY:5 easily outranks some pricier devices.
5. Mobile Application
It’s essential for a device like Sonos to have a functional, straightforward and easy-to-use mobile application since we have to use it quite often to control our speakers. So we need to be sure that Sonos’ mobile app is well-built and doesn’t cause extra hassle and headaches.
Since both PLAY:3 and PLAY:5 belong to Sonos, we have a single mobile application to control both speakers.
To begin with, the mobile app is well-built, structured and designed. It’s easy to use, and the navigation is intuitive. The app guides you through the whole setup process, and it’ll also escort you through other important events.
You can stream music from different sources including the most popular ones like Tidal, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music and Groove. Plus, you can play your private collection through your computer and drive.
The TruePlay is the innovative feature that was released not too long ago. The main reason behind the release was to help people better place and use their Sonos speakers.
For example, there were numerous cases when buyers placed their Sonos speakers in corners, which made it harder for the device to unleash its full potential. After poor placements, some were disappointed and called the Sonos speakers garbage.
The TruePlay helped to improve the situation since it compensates for lousy placement by adjusting its sound so that it’s clearer and optimised.
We tried the calibration with PLAY:3 and PLAY:5 and while the difference wasn’t significant, we did notice an improvement. I’m pretty sure as time passes, the TruePlay will get better at calibrating.
The most significant drawback is that TruePlay works only with iOS devices. If you have an Android, you won’t have access to it.
The only thing I’d love to add to the app’s capabilities is to stream music, YouTube clips or video game sounds directly from your smartphone. You can still do so by having a cable and the 3.5mm jack, but it would’ve been great for it to be as directly accessible as Apple Music or Spotify.
Shortly, the mobile app of Sonos is excellent. It’s one of the best on the market, and we’ve never had cases of the application freezing, crashing of bugging.
6. Advantages and Disadvantages
What we need to write about now is the advantages and disadvantages of Sonos PLAY:3 and PLAY:5. It’s essential to know all the pros and cons to avoid any misunderstandings before purchasing either of these two.
Hence we’ve created two fantastic charts that list the pros and cons of both Sonos speakers.
|Well-Balanced Bass||No Bluetooth|
|Stellar Sound||Proprietary system|
|Multi-Room Audio||No High-Res Support|
|Works with Streaming Services||No Auxiliary Input|
|Amazon Alexa Support|
|Straightforward Mobile Application|
|Clear Mids||PURCHASE PLAY:3|
|Well-Balanced Bass||No Bluetooth|
|Room-Filling Sound||Proprietary system|
|Multi-Room Audio||No High-Res Support|
|Works with Streaming Services|
|Amazon Alexa Support|
|Straightforward Mobile Application|
|Clear Mids||PURCHASE PLAY:5|
Both Sonos speakers are powerful devices that are well-known and have thousands of positive reviews and satisfied buyers. We’ve tested both and can confirm that Sonos PLAY:3 and PLAY:5 exceed their competitors in the same price ranges.
Some people regularly have issues with their speakers, and it’s essential for a big company like Sonos to have a reliable, responsive and caring customer care department. If buyers fail to find answers in the user manual, community forums and YouTube, as a last resort, they always reach out to the support teams.
Luckily, Sonos is well-known for having a terrific customer care service. I’ve reached out to them a few times and always received professional answers and tips.
So if you experience any issues with your speaker, don’t hesitate – make sure to contact them as soon as possible.
8. Comparison Chart: SONOS PLAY:3 vs PLAY:5
Before concluding our Sonos PLAY:5 vs PLAY:3 article, we’d like to present a detailed chart where we compare these speakers directly.
So the chart shows the similarity between the PLAY:3 and PLAY:5 models. The main difference between them is the audio capabilities where the PLAY:5 takes the top spot.
While the PLAY:3 isn’t as good as the PLAY:5, it delivers a superior streaming-audio experience. The best part is that you can control it through a simple iOS or Android device.
The Bottom Line
While both speakers are proven to be reliable, sturdy and durable, we still have to crown one as a leading product.
The superiority of the PLAY:5 is visible in the above discussions. There’s also a reasonable price difference, so we need to be careful while choosing a better audio speaker.
The PLAY:5 is the complete audio speaker on the market. It exceeds any other speaker from the same price range and delivers an out-of-the-box experience.
On the other hand, the PLAY:3 is the newest release from Sonos. It’s another terrific speaker that’ll blow your mind. Compared to the PLAY:5, it’s weaker, not as powerful and the sound isn’t as clean.
The only case where we’d recommend getting the PLAY:3 instead of the PLAY:5 is if you purchase a pair of PLAY:3 speakers. Otherwise, the Sonos PLAY:5 exceeds its younger brother in every significant aspect.
|Audio Speaker||SONOS PLAY:3||SONOS PLAY:5|